For all those with an interest in match racing cast your eyes in the direction of Ekaterinburg, Russia. The Women’s Match racing World Championships are taking place right now. 11 teams with 45 sailors from 6 nations are participating, including the current world champion Lucy Macgregor (GBR)
Lucy Macgregor is skippering Team Mac alongside her two sisters Kate Macgregor and Nicky Walsh and another familiar face, Annie Lush. The team line-up is, with one addition, the same as the GBR London 2012 team. We briefly caught up with them at Cowes Week before they headed off to Russia to ask about teaming up and about getting into match racing
Lucy explains “We sailed together in 2012 for the London Olympics and have been sailing together for a long time before that too.
We actually started out match racing against each other within Poole Harbour when we were younger, based at our respective (and rival) clubs, Parkstone and Poole yacht club.”
Annie adds “yes, we did, but at slightly different times as I think I started a few years earlier due to being slightly older but we were racing on the same water, just different clubs. Over the years we have raced together many times and we also recently competed at the Bermuda Cup”
We asked for a little more information about the match racing format and Annie ran through the basics with us:
“We get a practice day on the boats the day before. The boats are probably going to be something like a Ricochet 747 but we don’t know which boats they will be until we arrive. The teams have a weight limit of 270kg, which means usually we see teams of four, but if you have smaller lighter crew then you could have five people onboard.
In match racing you go head to head in a series of round robin races, before then progressing if successful into the final rounds ”
Kate interjects “it’s such a fun discipline to take part in, you don’t need your own boat, it makes it much easier to get started and you rarely have to go far to find somewhere that does match racing”
Lucy continues “but don’t expect to go winning everything straight away. It takes time to develop a good team dynamic that works well together. It’s very much about having fun and being able to compete – even as a beginner you can sometimes get a wild card slot next to a championship defender! We took a shock win that way a good few years ago now. Don’t be afraid of just making your own team if you can’t find a space in an existing team.”
It’s clear that the defending champions are really looking forward to this competition in Russia. You can keep up with the results as they happen here
The competition concludes on Saturday 18th August.
Stop Press: Lucy Macgregor’s team is leading with a clean sweep after the first day of competition.
Interview: Jayne Toyne/the Magenta Project
Photos: WIM Series/FlashbackStudios.co.nz